Rancho Punta de Quentin was a 8,877-acre (35.92 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Marin County, California given in 1840 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to John B.R. Cooper. The grant comprised not only the San Quentin peninsula, but also present-day Ross, Kentfield and part of San Anselmo.
Captain John Bautista Rogers Cooper (1791–1872) married General Vallejo’s sister Encarnacion in 1827 and became a naturalized Mexican in 1830. In 1840, Governor Alvarado granted Cooper the two square league Rancho Punta de Quentin. His Marin holdings also included Rancho Nicasio, which he and Pablo de la Guerra were granted in 1844. Cooper established a lumber business, which he contracted others to run. In 1847, he leased a section of the point to the U.S. government for a sawmill. He sold his interests in both Marin County ranchos to Benjamin Rush Buckelew in 1850.
Benjamin Rush Buckelew (1822–1859) and his wife, Martha, came to California in 1846 with the Hoppe and Harlan wagon train. In San Francisco, he founded a watch making and jewelry shop, and manufactured gold scales for use by miners. He owned and operated the San Francisco newspaper The Californian(1847-48). In 1850, Buckelew bought three Marin County ranchos in 11 days. Besides Cooper’s Rancho Punta de Quentin, Buckelew also purchased Cooper’s Rancho Nicasio and John Reed’s Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio. In 1852, the California Legislature bought twenty acres at the tip of the rancho, where the Board of Prison Commissioners planned to build a state prison.
With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Punta de Quentin was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853, and the grant was patented to Benjamin R. Buckelew in 1866.
Due to illness, bad luck, and poor judgment, Buckelew became embroiled in a series of costly lawsuits resulting in the loss of all three ranchos. Buckelew fought with John Cowell and James Ross over the ranchos until his death in 1859.
In 1857, James Ross (1812-1862), in partnership with John and Henry Cowell, bought Rancho Punta de Quentin from Buckelew. Ross, a Scot who had arrived in San Francisco from Australia in 1848 and made his fortune in the wholesale liquor business, moved his family into the Buckelew home and set up a trading post called "Ross Landing". In 1870, James Ross widow, Annie Ross, was forced to sell large parcels of land.
Corte Madera Creek is a short stream which flows southeast for 4.5 miles (7.2 km) in Marin County, California. Corte Madera Creek is formed by the confluence of San Anselmo Creek and Ross Creek in Ross and entering a tidal marsh at Kentfield before connecting to San Francisco Bay near Corte Madera.Isabella Worn
Isabella Worn (1869 – November 9, 1950) was an American horticulturist and garden designer best known for working on projects in northern and central California, including the gardens at the Filoli estate and Hearst Castle.John B. R. Cooper
John Bautista Rogers Cooper (born John Rogers Cooper, September 11, 1791, Alderney, British Channel Islands – June 2, 1872, San Francisco, California). Raised in Massachusetts in a maritime family, he came to the Mexican territory of Alta California as master of the ship Rover, and was a pioneer of Monterey, California when it was the capital of the territory. He converted to Catholicism, became a Mexican citizen, and married the daughter of the Mexican territorial governor and acquired extensive land holdings in the area prior to the Mexican–American War.Kentfield, California
Kentfield (formerly Ross Landing, Tamalpais, and Kent) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Kentfield is located on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of downtown San Rafael, at an elevation of 115 feet (35 m). The population was 6,485 at the 2010 census. The ZIP codes are 94904 for street addresses, and 94914 for PO boxes, and are shared with the neighboring community of Greenbrae.Nicasio Creek
Nicasio Creek is an 11.9-mile-long (19.2 km) stream in Marin County, California, United States and is the primary tributary of Lagunitas Creek, which flows, in turn, into Tomales Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The Nicasio Reservoir, formed in 1961 by Seeger Dam, is located on this stream.Rancho Cañada de Jonive
Rancho Cañada de Jonive was a 10,787-acre (43.65 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Sonoma County, California given in 1845 by Governor Pío Pico to James Black. The grant encompassed the town of Freestone.Rancho Nicasio
Rancho Nicasio was a Mexican land grant of 56,807 acres (230 km2) granted to the Coast Miwok indigenous people in 1835, located in the present-day Marin County, California, a tract of land that stretched from San Geronimo to Tomales Bay. Today, Nicasio, California is at the heart of this location.Ross, California
Ross is a small incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Ross is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west-southwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 36 feet (11 m). The population was 2,415 at the 2010 census. The town is bordered by Kentfield and Greenbrae to the east, Larkspur to the south and San Anselmo to the north.
Ross is named in honor of James Ross, who acquired Rancho Punta de Quentin in 1859.Sea otter
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living exclusively in the ocean.
The sea otter inhabits nearshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries.
Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species.